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In defense of Cats

. Monday, 30 December 2019 .





Much has been said about the film adaptation of Cats. And most of it has been negative. Although I tend to take that with a grain of salt. It seems as though in 2019, especially on the internet, the loudest voices are always the haters and everyone is a critic these days.




It seems as though the 'cool' thing to do right now is to hate on Cats. It's easy click-bait. It's easier to go viral when it's trending. I've read critic reviews and saw social media comments from people




I can't help but think of that Ceasar A. Cruz quote - "Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable". I know it's bold of me to call Cats as art but I really appreciate the artistry of it. Films are not easy to make, and to make that film would have been a massive production. I'm not about to shit on people's hard work or vision. Even if that vision, is at times, strange.




I admit - there were moments in the film where I looked around me thinking 'WTF is going on' - but I reckon it's part of the moviegoing experience. That's the beauty of cinema, right? Ultimately it's there to entertain and makes us feel. Judging by the looks of it, Cats did make a lot of people, well, feel. And I was entertained for sure. I mean, I cried twice.




So here's a list of the top comment themes I've seen online about Cats, in no particular order:







"There is no plot"




Well, there is. Maybe you've just missed it because you went into it ready to hate on the film because everyone else said there was no plot. For context, the original Cats musical was based off a T.S. Eliot book - a collection of poetry called Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) - which is all about cats psychology and sociology. So if you've seen it and were wondering what the hell was going on with that ending (which I loved because who wouldn't want to get inside their cats head and know what the hell they're thinking lol), knowing the context of what the book was about is helpful.




As for the plot, basically the film centres around Victoria - played by newcomer Francesca Hayward - who my mum said was the perfect casting choice because she embodied that character in her facial expressions. I agree. Plus, she made me cry as a cat and that's something I never thought I'd ever type but when you get to her 'Beautiful Ghosts' sequence, you'll know what I mean. I really felt that. ANYWAY. The plot. Victoria was abandoned by her owner in the scary streets of London where a group of alleycats take her in and introduce her to the world of Jellicle cats, where they show her the ins and outs of her newfound life as an abandoned cat. The Jellicle cats reveal that every year they have a 'Jellicle ball' where many cats compete for a chance to be 'reborn' into a new life. So that's what the film is about in a nutshell. The musical numbers are cats introducing themselves, including our bad cat Macavity (played by Idris Elba). Then there's Grizabella (played by Jennifer Hudson. Flawless queen) - an 'outsider' cat who once was a glamorous cat who's been shunned from the Jellicle tribe. And when you finally get to the 'Memory' reprise towards the end of the film, it really hits you (well, me) right in the feels. Of course there's conflict and drama, as well as a resolution and conclusion.




I was really interested in Victoria's story and the symbolism behind that. I think maybe that's why I liked the film so much. Take away the cat aspect and musical numbers, and you get a film about an abandoned girl without a home and family, roaming the streets of London alone, trying to re-adjust to her new life. These cats are outcasts, unwanted pets. All they want is a chance for a new life. And I guess that's why I loved it so much. We've all felt unwanted at some point in our lives, or an outcast for something. Maybe it's an unpopular opinion, or maybe it was not being 'cool' enough in High School. Cats also had a central theme of acceptance and kindness. Something that was ironically lost amongst all the hatred for the film.









"It's the horniest film ever"




I mean, if that's what you're into, I ain't gonna judge nor kink shame you. You go be proud of finding Cats sexually arousing, fam.




"I can't look at my cat ever again"




Maybe you shouldn't be a cat owner, then. Your cat probably doesn't give a flying fuck, to be honest. Have you considered perhaps getting a dog?




"The songs were weird"




Do you maybe... just maybe... not like musicals? Granted, the most boring number was Taylor Swift's one, so I do see your point. It was vanilla and blah and even though she released a version of Beautiful Ghosts (and co-wrote it), I still prefer Francesca Hayward's rendition. Also, there's a reason why Cats is considered as the original megamusical and has paved the way for many musical theatre shows we know and love. I genuinely think that wouldn't happen if the songs weren't up to scratch.




"The worst movie ever"





Have you seen all the movies ever made?




I can think of more problematic movies than Cats. At least this one didn't completely give in to the worst side of the fandom and erase a central character's presence in a film.




Cats is out in cinemas nationwide. Thank you, Universal Pictures, for having us along! Definitely a film you need to see for yourselves. BRB, about to stream Francesca Hayward's version of 'Beautiful Ghosts' again.





Much has been said about the film adaptation of Cats. And most of it has been negative. Although I tend to take that with a grain of salt. It seems as though in 2019, especially on the internet, the loudest voices are always the haters and everyone is a critic these days.




It seems as though the 'cool' thing to do right now is to hate on Cats. It's easy click-bait. It's easier to go viral when it's trending. I've read critic reviews and saw social media comments from people




I can't help but think of that Ceasar A. Cruz quote - "Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable". I know it's bold of me to call Cats as art but I really appreciate the artistry of it. Films are not easy to make, and to make that film would have been a massive production. I'm not about to shit on people's hard work or vision. Even if that vision, is at times, strange.




I admit - there were moments in the film where I looked around me thinking 'WTF is going on' - but I reckon it's part of the moviegoing experience. That's the beauty of cinema, right? Ultimately it's there to entertain and makes us feel. Judging by the looks of it, Cats did make a lot of people, well, feel. And I was entertained for sure. I mean, I cried twice.




So here's a list of the top comment themes I've seen online about Cats, in no particular order:







"There is no plot"




Well, there is. Maybe you've just missed it because you went into it ready to hate on the film because everyone else said there was no plot. For context, the original Cats musical was based off a T.S. Eliot book - a collection of poetry called Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) - which is all about cats psychology and sociology. So if you've seen it and were wondering what the hell was going on with that ending (which I loved because who wouldn't want to get inside their cats head and know what the hell they're thinking lol), knowing the context of what the book was about is helpful.




As for the plot, basically the film centres around Victoria - played by newcomer Francesca Hayward - who my mum said was the perfect casting choice because she embodied that character in her facial expressions. I agree. Plus, she made me cry as a cat and that's something I never thought I'd ever type but when you get to her 'Beautiful Ghosts' sequence, you'll know what I mean. I really felt that. ANYWAY. The plot. Victoria was abandoned by her owner in the scary streets of London where a group of alleycats take her in and introduce her to the world of Jellicle cats, where they show her the ins and outs of her newfound life as an abandoned cat. The Jellicle cats reveal that every year they have a 'Jellicle ball' where many cats compete for a chance to be 'reborn' into a new life. So that's what the film is about in a nutshell. The musical numbers are cats introducing themselves, including our bad cat Macavity (played by Idris Elba). Then there's Grizabella (played by Jennifer Hudson. Flawless queen) - an 'outsider' cat who once was a glamorous cat who's been shunned from the Jellicle tribe. And when you finally get to the 'Memory' reprise towards the end of the film, it really hits you (well, me) right in the feels. Of course there's conflict and drama, as well as a resolution and conclusion.




I was really interested in Victoria's story and the symbolism behind that. I think maybe that's why I liked the film so much. Take away the cat aspect and musical numbers, and you get a film about an abandoned girl without a home and family, roaming the streets of London alone, trying to re-adjust to her new life. These cats are outcasts, unwanted pets. All they want is a chance for a new life. And I guess that's why I loved it so much. We've all felt unwanted at some point in our lives, or an outcast for something. Maybe it's an unpopular opinion, or maybe it was not being 'cool' enough in High School. Cats also had a central theme of acceptance and kindness. Something that was ironically lost amongst all the hatred for the film.









"It's the horniest film ever"




I mean, if that's what you're into, I ain't gonna judge nor kink shame you. You go be proud of finding Cats sexually arousing, fam.




"I can't look at my cat ever again"




Maybe you shouldn't be a cat owner, then. Your cat probably doesn't give a flying fuck, to be honest. Have you considered perhaps getting a dog?




"The songs were weird"




Do you maybe... just maybe... not like musicals? Granted, the most boring number was Taylor Swift's one, so I do see your point. It was vanilla and blah and even though she released a version of Beautiful Ghosts (and co-wrote it), I still prefer Francesca Hayward's rendition. Also, there's a reason why Cats is considered as the original megamusical and has paved the way for many musical theatre shows we know and love. I genuinely think that wouldn't happen if the songs weren't up to scratch.




"The worst movie ever"





Have you seen all the movies ever made?




I can think of more problematic movies than Cats. At least this one didn't completely give in to the worst side of the fandom and erase a central character's presence in a film.




Cats is out in cinemas nationwide. Thank you, Universal Pictures, for having us along! Definitely a film you need to see for yourselves. BRB, about to stream Francesca Hayward's version of 'Beautiful Ghosts' again.

1 comment

  1. There is lots of legalese "mumbo jumbo" in there designed to lessen the amount of money you make from movie royalty payments or a straightforward buy-out of your movie.

    yes movies

    ReplyDelete

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